Dr. Bryan Kariya recommends that kids see a dentist for the first time by the appearance of their first tooth. Twice-yearly dental checkups and proper care at home are the keys to ensuring pearly whites throughout childhood.
For toddlers, however, the first dental visit can be a scary proposition. Strange instruments, loud noises, and new faces can upset even the most nonchalant toddler. But with careful preparation and plenty of prizes, a first trip to the dentist can actually be a positive adventure. Here are some tips to make the visit as pleasant as possible:
Make an appointment to tour the office with your child.
Talk to your child about what’s going to happen. Practice brushing with your child beforehand, so a toothbrush in the mouth is a familiarity.
Parents should be in the examining room with the child on their first visit. You may even want to hold your child during the visit. If the child gets upset or nervous, we simply stop working. On subsequent visits, we may ask you to wait part of the time in the reception area so we can build trust with your child.
Be sure to bring a list of any medical conditions your child has or current medications. Have your pediatrician’s phone number handy, too, in case the dentist needs additional health information.
If your child has a sucking habit, be it thumb, pacifier, or bottle, let us know. It may affect your child’s teeth and jaw. Also, be aware that sleeping with a bottle of milk or juice can cause tooth decay. “During sleep, liquids in the mouth — which are full of sugar and bacteria — pool around the teeth and erode them.
Call South Penn Dental at 405-681-6601 if you have any questions about your child’s first visit! Dr. Bryan Kariya and Dr. William Kohs are known as the “gentle” dentists, so your child is in good hands.